Are you kidding me? Seven sacks? Including 3.5 to (Whoa... Déjà vu...) Clay Matthews. In an effort to save some time in my breakdown on all seven sacks I figured it a good idea to recycle part of my opening line from last year and the week 17 Sackwatch. In another coincidence, this season's week 2 was eerily similar to week 2 from last year, when the Bears went into New Orleans riding high at 1-0 and gave up 6 sacks to an amped up bounty-raged Saints team. After the jump the Sackwatch after two weeks...
So if you look on the bright side, the Bears are ahead of last years Sackwatch pace, and at 1-1 they are in the exact same situation as 2011 with a very winnable game up next. Woo Hoo! Glass half full!
As we did last season, we'll continue the running tabulation from the previous weeks total, so the first sack allowed is actually number 3 on the season.
Sack 3 - First Quarter 13:37 D.J. Smith
It's Déjà vu all over again when the Bears try a playaction pass on the 1st play and get sacked. The Packers were showing that they were gonna bring six on the play and they did. Bears left guard Chris Spencer had a man over him that slanted inside to center Roberto Garza. Spencer knew he had help behind him with running back Matt Forte, so he had to honor his defender which opened the hole for G.B. linebacker D.J. Smith to shoot the B gap. Scheme wise the Bears offensive line did everything right, because as you can see the Pack ran a little stunt inside and Spencer picked up the looping defensive tackle.
The problem with this play was Forte failing to square up his block. To be fair, it's a tough play for him to make after taking the fake hand off, his momentum is going one way and he has to immediately pick up the blitzer. The only thing that could have helped is if Spencer didn't squeeze inside as far as he did, he could have punched Smith with his left hand instead of allowing to go free. The Bears should have known Green Bay would blitz early and often, so starting off the game with either a power run or a 3 step quick slant would have been ideal in my opinion.
Another 1st and 10, and another sack by Green Bay. It's around this time I'm wondering if it would be that difficult to run the ball on first down. Cutler in shotgun and the Packers showing 6 defenders on the line. They bring just 5 with Mathews blitzing inside against Bears left guard Spencer. Clay just shoots into the A gap between Spencer and Garza and Spencer fails to keep his butt between his QB and the defender. Spencer tries to lean on him without moving his feet and Matthews is far too relentless to have such lazy technique stop him.
Outside linebacker Erik Walden, who was lined up on the Bears right side, came with a slight delay to his blitz and beat Gabe Carimi around the edge. Carimi initially helped shut down his inside gap and he couldn't recover quick enough to stop Walden. Carimi failed to get his hands on Walden, letting him get into his chest, then it was just a rip under and into Cutler for the punishing finish.
Sack 5 - Second Quarter 9:12 Clay Matthews
This was a 2nd and 26 and the play immediately after the Carimi unnecessary roughness penalty. Talk about back to back drive killers. Matthews just ran right around left tackle J'Marcus Webb, and Webb bent at the waist as he lunged to make the block. After pure speed got him most of the way, Matthews executed a little swim move to beat the half-assed attempt by Webb. Leaving Webb on an island with Matthews isn't a good idea, but with the way the Packers lined up, with a linebacker lined up between Spencer and Webb, Forte had to be aware of that potential blitz through the B gap. The Packer LB feigned the blitz and Forte stepped up. Click here to see the GIF of the sack.
Sack 6 - Fourth Quarter 9:07 Mike Daniels
The Bears came out in a shotgun on 2nd and 20 after another Carimi penalty, this time for holding, and another solid drive was thwarted. Cutler had time to throw, but he had no where to go with the ball. He felt some pressure from his right from Daniels and he stepped away from it and started to run up field, but Jay didn't have a clear path to take off and Daniels got him for a 1 yard loss. You can chalk this sack up as a coverage sack. The Bears did an OK job on Daniels who started off on right guard Lance Louis before being passed off to Garza (click here for the GIF of the sack), but Garza fell down. You would have liked to see Garza keep his feet, but the Bears held up long enough.
Sack 7 - Fourth Quarter 8:04 Clay Matthews
After Tim Jennings intercepts Aaron Rodgers to give the Bears some hope, Green Bay sacks Cutler on 1st down to cut into any momentum the Bears may have had. It's again Matthews, and he again beats Webb. But if you look at the GIF, you'll see Webb staying with Matthews better than earlier. Webb keeps Matthews in front of him, he uses his hands, he recovers after the spin, and even though Clay worked into the sack, Webb never quit on the play. Cutler dropped back and gave a little token fake to Forte to hold the defense and he had a pocket to throw from. Even though Webb will no doubt get the dreaded 'sack allowed' stat, I'm calling this one a coverage sack.
When a QB starts a pass play, you'd like him to drop back, set his feet, and throw the ball. Cutler set up to throw, but didn't let it rip. He bounced around looking for somewhere to throw, tried stepping up and was dropped. Either the Packers were sticking with the Bear wide outs, or the patterns were taking too long to develop.
Sack 8 - Fourth Quarter 4:09 Jerel Worthy
What else is new, 1st and 10 and the Bears are sacked. This time it was defensive end Jerel Worthy getting in on the fun. The Bears actually gave Cutler some time (over 4 seconds) as they max protected, but he had no where to throw. On the far right of the formation Earl Bennett ran a quick hook, then just stood there and watched Cutler get dropped. Had Bennett run back left across the field he may have given Cutler somewhere to go with the ball. Worthy worked against Webb who did a good job mirroring his every move, until Cutler stepped up and into the spinning Worthy. In my opinion this is another coverage sack. Click here for the GIF of the sack.
On the very next play Matthews sticks an exclamation point on his evening, and on Cutler's head, with his final sack. The Packers 5 defenders overwhelmed the Bears 6 blockers. Running back Michael Bush rightfully helped Webb when Clay Matthews' made an inside move which allowed LB D.J. Smith to come back around the left side virtually untouched. It was the initial pressure from Smith that caused Cutler to step up into the sack.
Bush didn't stick with with the help and he tried get back to Smith, which may have thrown Webb, who was bull-rushed backwards. One of the first rules you learn in football is 'low man wins', and Webb was playing much too high on this play. Clay showed an outside move before coming back inside, and Webb did move his feet well, but he was out leveraged.
J'Marcus Webb didn't play a very good game, but far better offensive tackles have been beat by Clay Matthews, who is one of the premier pass rushers in football. The Bears schemed some max protect throughout the game plan, but they didn't give Webb enough chip help when he was on an island.